- Nunavut Teacher Education Program
The Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP) is an important college/university program in the Eastern Arctic of Canada offered through Nunavut Arctic College. This program provides Inuit from Nunavut with the opportunity to work toward a degree (Bachelor of Education) while remaining in the Arctic. With this degree in education, graduates can contribute and shape the education system in Nunavut by becoming bilingual (Inuktitut and English) teachers or work for the Department of Education. If the Inuit language and culture is to survive during this time of cultural transition, it will be greatly assisted by programs such as NTEP which recognize the importance of infusing Inuit language and culture into the western schooling system that is currently being used across North America (including the Arctic). This program is more than an educational program; NTEP is of political and epistemological importance as it recognizes and legitimizes Inuit knowledge, values and perspectives and provides Inuit with an opportunity to play an active role in education.
NTEP, in partnership with the University of Regina, offers a campus and community based program which prepares Inuit to become classroom teachers in Nunavut schools. The emphasis is on training primary and elementary teachers, though students may choose to practice at the junior high and high school levels. The program has a strong focus on practice, and the theory learned in courses is applied in classroom situations through observation and teaching.
Based on a strong foundation of Inuit culture and language, NTEP is committed to developing critical, confident, thoughtful Inuit teachers with the personal, academic, and professional skills to provide the children of Nunavut with knowledge, skills and attributes needed to equip them to be contributing community members.
Upon successful completion of all program requirements, NTEP graduates are awarded the following: University of Regina of Education Degree, 120 credits (B.Ed..
The Eastern Arctic Teacher Education Program (EATEP) began in 1979, and an affiliation with McGill University was established in 1981. Initially, NTEP offered a two-year teacher education program culminating in a Certificate in Native & Northern Education from McGill University and certification to teach in the NWT. Graduates of EATEP’s two-year program accumulated sixty university level credits in elementary education.
In 1994, NTEP added another academic year to the program. Graduates who obtained the Certificate in Native & Northern Education could, as well, complete a McGill University B.Ed. It then became a four year university program with a total of 120 credits. In 2004 NTEP added a foundation year to make it a five year program. This fifth year was created to ensure that all applicants met the entrance requirements.
In 2007, NTEP gained a new 5-year partnership with University of Regina. The program consists of U of R courses and transfer courses from NAC (Nunavut Arctic College). Under the fee-for-service arrangement, the U of R provides a range of services, including visiting instructors, professional development opportunities for students and learning experiences through exchanges.
The Community Teacher Education Program (CTEP) provides teacher training, following the NTEP curriculum, at the community level outside the program center of Iqaluit. This enables students to stay in their home communities with the support of their family; it also gives the students the opportunity to do their practica in the school where they will be teaching. This has been very beneficial as it allows them to get to know the teaching staff who will become their colleagues.
To date (Sept, 2010) there are approximately 460 NTEP graduates: 260 who have obtained certificates and 200 who have earned the Bachelor of Education degree. The majority of graduates are employed, mostly within the school systems in Nunavut. There are also graduates working for the Government of Nunavut, Assistant Deputy Ministers, Deputy Ministers, with Inuit organizations across Canada, the Nunavut Sivuniksavut Training Program (in Ottawa), and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC).
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